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Billy Graham: Counselor to the Presidents

Rev. Billy Graham, an influential pastor who preached to millions across the world, and provided counsel to U.S. presidents, died at age 99 Wednesday at his home in North Carolina. In a career that began in the 1940s in a Baptist church in Illinois and eventually turned him into a figure known as "America’s pastor," Graham took the church revival era into the future-- using television to reach audiences road shows never could. "This is not mass evangelism," Mr. Graham would say, "but personal evangelism on a mass scale."

He preached to audiences in massive settings, but over time, he also offered a more intimate kind of spiritual guidance for U.S. presidents, starting with the Truman White House. Bettmann/Bettmann Archive He preached to audiences in massive settings, but over time, he also offered a more intimate kind of spiritual guidance for U.S. presidents, starting with the Truman White House. Billy Graham and Other Clergy Kneeling in Prayer Bettmann/Bettmann Archive Billy Graham and Other Clergy Kneeling in Prayer Here, Billy Graham kneels in prayer outside the White House after meeting in 1950 with President Truman, the first U.S. president to invite Graham to the Oval Office. Reverend Graham and President Eisenhower in 1957 Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Reverend Graham and President Eisenhower in 1957 Rev. Graham and President Kennedy in 1961 Bettmann/Bettmann Archive Rev. Graham and President Kennedy in 1961 Rev. Graham and President Johnson in 1964 Bettmann/Bettmann Archive Rev. Graham and President Johnson in 1964 Rev. Graham and President Nixon in 1971 Bettmann/Bettmann Archive Rev. Graham and President Nixon in 1971 Rev. Graham and Gerald Ford, Vice President at the time in 1974 Bettmann/Bettmann Archive Rev. Graham and Gerald Ford, Vice President at the time in 1974 Rev. Graham and President Carter with then not-quite-yet Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1980 Bettmann/Bettmann Archive Rev. Graham and President Carter with then not-quite-yet Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1980 Rev. Graham and President Reagan in 1987 Diana Walker/Getty Images Rev. Graham and President Reagan in 1987 Rev. Graham and former President George H.W. Bush in 2002 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Rev. Graham and former President George H.W. Bush in 2002 Clintongraham LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty ImagesRev. Graham and President Clinton in 1997 Rev. Graham and then-candidate George Bush during Bush's first run for president in 2000 PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images Rev. Graham and then-candidate George Bush during Bush's first run for president in 2000 Rev. Graham with his son, Franklin Graham, along with President Carter, President Bush and President Clinton at the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2007 Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images Rev. Graham with his son, Franklin Graham, along with President Carter, President Bush and President Clinton at the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2007